February is the shortest month, but it’s been a good one for my reading and reviewing. Eleven books reviewed, and a number of other books read due to a few visits to the rather prestigious library belonging to my alma mater in preparation for The Bodies From The Library conference later this year.
Unabashed plug time: The Bodies From The Library conference is the finest conference for fans of classic detective fiction. You can get a feel for what to expect with my reports of previous events:
Well, it’s been absolutely amazing in the past, and I promise to do my best not to ruin it. You may or may not be aware, but this year, I’m going to be one of the speakers. I’ll be in conversation with fellow blogger Kate Jackson, talking about (surprise, surprise) Brian Flynn. And there’ll be plenty of other speakers – Martin Edwards, Alison Joseph, Kate Ellis, Tony Medawar, Curtis Evans, Moira Redmond, Len Tyler, John Curran, Christine Poulson, Jake Kerridge and Jim Noy – talking on a variety of other topics – Ngaio Marsh, Patrick Quentin, Gladys Mitchell, Ellery Queen, Peter & Anthony Shaffer, Anthony Gilbert, Anne Meredith, Lucy Malleson, GAD in the US and how crime fiction is created. If you want to find out more, do pop over to the website and get your tickets!
Right, plug over – time for this month’s reading (not including the bonus Flynn titles that I’ll be posting reviews for every Friday).
- The Horn by Brian Flynn – Dorothy L Sayers wasn’t so keen, but I loved this Gothic mystery of doomed weddings and ghostly horns echoing across the moors.
- The Burial Circle by Kate Ellis – another top quality case for DI Wesley Peterson and his team from one of the most consistently entertaining crime fiction series.
- The Sussex Cuckoo by Brian Flynn – was the man found lying in his pyjamas on his front lawn, dead of tetanus poisoning, the victim of natural causes? Of course not…
- Art Of Death by Laurence Anholt – introducing the Mindful Detective (and his partner the angry detective). Some suspension of disbelief needed.
- Cold Evil by Brian Flynn – more death on the moors, this time either from natural causes or from a chimera. Or from a cunning murderer…
- Wilders Walk Away by Herbert Brean – a thriller disguised as a detective story. Ente– a clever impossible poisoning on a trairtaining, but some of the explanations have bland resolutions.
- Death Of A Frightened Editor by E & M A Radford, coming soon from Dean Street Press.
- The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie – not the best from the Queen of Crime but far, far better than the adaptation.
- The Swinging Death by Brian Flynn – a naked man found hanging in a church porch. What caused him to leave his train at an early stop?
- Answer In The Negative by Henrietta Hamilton – a good, solid classic mystery.
- The Fortescue Candle by Brian Flynn – the murder of the Home Secretary and with a truly unique motive.
So, Book Of The Month… well, The Horn is making a good case for being one of my favourite Flynn mysteries, so why not? Although the motive from The Fortescue Candle runs it a close second.